still in it for life

It was a long time ago but it was yesterday. Standing in a stadium in California, stranger to the thousands, tired, sunburned, ready to be done with my first-ever significant fast, not even sure what made me spend over $350 on a plane ticket to go volunteer and pray in a place where I knew no one. Then it happened, late that evening, as I sat, alone. Ready to go but wanting to hold out. The verses. Bible verses. That was all. She read a stream of them, what the Word of God said about the shedding of innocent blood.

I wept.

Standing there, utterly exhausted and as in the flesh as a human can be, I wept because of what the Word of God said. In that moment I knew beyond the shadow of the slightest human reasoning that I was called to do something about abortion. I didn’t call it being called until later. I didn’t know what happened, but I knew that it wasn’t emotion that moved me. I had none left. I was exhausted. It wasn’t friends; I didn’t know a single person there. It wasn’t the speaker. She was a girl reading verses, non-dramatically. The Word of God is alive, active, shaper than a two-edged sword, cutting to my marrow. Yeah, that’s a verse in Hebrews, but it’s also reality. Because it did. It cut through me. I went home to Texas, but I was never the same again. That moment would define much of my future.

It was less than a year before God had launched me into pro-life ministry. I did pretty much nothing. It was the first time in my life I didn’t have to work to make something happen. One moment I was posting a pro-life article on Facebook and the next I was the author of the pro-life articles. I led a ministry in AL where people responded—to pray. Shoot, people don’t often come to prayer meetings when it’s something happy or neutral, let alone about abortion. I got invited to speak places, then got asked to write for a national blog, then found myself onstage speaking to stadiums. Me. The girl who just felt like she needed to go pray. If ever I knew God was doing something, it was in that. He had called me; I said yes.

This is what eventually landed me in the roles I had at IHOPKC, even though that went to all of the justice issues by then. Every Friday morning you could find me on that podium, usually with Action Figure Arm, crying out for life. My sweet leader, Ben, would often let me go first even though he was the leader of the pro-life department at IHOPKC. I didn’t care what order I went in as long as I got to take what was inside me and channel it into intercession.

And then it unraveled; it was crushing to my spirit. It was the 2012 election. In fact, it’s been stirring up lately with all the candidates throwing their hat in the election ring for 2016, reminders of those weeks. I wrote stuff people didn’t like because it was about the nominee. It was okay when he was only one of many candidates, but when he was a nominee, they insisted I was campaigning for the other side. I was campaigning for truth. What I found, as I have detailed before, was that people’s faith in God being in control of an election only extended as far as their candidate. It was impossible to believe, for most, that the “other” guy could get into office and God could still move. I became Public Enemy Number One to some of my circle. And it broke me. I found I had more faith than I knew because that was tested. I was disowned by some, rejected by others. Then there were the dear people who always loved me and stood. In fact, to this day, I love Ben because he was the only leader I had who ever, every single time he was checking in with me, asked “How are you?” and when I answered about what was going on with ministry, he said “I don’t want to know about your ministry. How’s your heart?” I cherish that still. He knew what mattered most. But by then my heart was too far gone. If Ben had been a woman, I might have answered more clearly because I might have broken down crying. But I felt like I had to be tough.

I’d like to say my faith in God moving no matter who was elected was all pure faith, but I had facts from the past that helped my faith. Since the last election, we had had more pro-life laws than ever enacted—and that proved true again. In fact, since the election of a man who fully supports all abortion rights, we’ve had more pro-life laws in our nation since the advent of legalized abortion. This is why I did not worry on this issue. I knew God was bigger. I dare say now that had we gone the other way, abortion would be more accessible.

Now I’m not here to argue politics. For the love of all things holy, please don’t argue politics. Little can divide the church so much. That was my last straw before my fall.

Eventually I left the ministry side of being pro-life. I was done. Without faith that God really was in control, I felt confused. What would we do when things got too hard? We couldn’t live without creamers that were made from tests that came from aborted fetal cells, so what would we do when our actual nutrition depended on standing for life? My heart got ugly, offended, aching, and I was done.

But I wasn’t done with being pro-life. You see, if God calls you, He doesn’t take it back. I am forever thankful for the pro-life news agency who hired me as a freelance writer about that time. In fact, they hired me about one month before I left pro-life ministry, which I see now as the Lord keeping that door open because I am called to life. Thus, I have been able to continue being a voice where the Lord called me, but without that ministry label that was so destructive to my heart (through lots of fault of my own, by the way, so don’t read this as a criticism of others).

Last week something happened I didn’t expect. I don’t need to detail that because the what isn’t important. What’s important is that without warning my heart beat fast, and my eyes filled with tears I couldn’t allow out. What’s important is that I wanted to stand up and tell everyone about abortion and Stericycle and medical incineration and fetal cell coffee creamers. So I wrote. I wrote so fast I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to read it later. I spilled words out to a private page, trying to harness thoughts I could not explain. Except I could. I knew that feeling. I had it that night in 2008.

As quickly as I could, I left where I was and got in my car, and as soon as I turned onto the road, I cried. Heaving, heavy sobs, for life, for legalized murder, for people all over who did not learn from history, for people all over who were ignorant as to the present. My heart broke for the heart of God which weeps all the time for what I only weep for when He touches me that deeply and I let Him. My heart broke for the ones who can’t weep for abortion, who have closed their hearts to prevent pain, who have denied the reality in the name of progress or financial independence. My heart broke into shreds there on the highway. I pulled over once I was away and I cried, and shook, and ached, and grieved, and I asked what this meant, what was next.

I have never doubted my call to life. What happened to me in that stadium was too profound. But I didn’t know what rose up in me that night last week could be so powerful again. I don’t know what the Lord is having me do with it, if anything other than remind me of what He has said and keep writing in a forum He has allowed me.  I have zero interest in entering ministry again, and yet I realize I have a purpose in pro-life ministry and that may happen again one day. I’m not doing anything to make that happen, but whatever He asks, my answer is only yes because we all know I have no interest in going backwards.

I don’t have a massive point to make with this entry. Really, I needed to write because the strength of the feelings overwhelmed me. I sat on the entry for a few days, but I still don’t know why it hit me as it did. I suppose if there are any morals to this story they are, in this order:

  • When God calls you, you don’t get uncalled. He knew what He was doing in the first place
  • Don’t elevate politics to a spiritual place it’s not. Do your part, follow your conscience as it’s rooted in Jesus, but remember that there really is one King, and He can take care of even what we see as negative.

 

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